PM did nice surgery, but patients suffering: Pawar on demonetisation

Pune: Weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Sharad Pawar for his “unbeaten innings” in politics, the NCP chief today likened his demonetisation move to a doctor’s surgery, saying that lack of proper care post the operation has now raised fear among patients about their survival.

Pawar, however, refrained himself from launching a direct attack on Modi, even as his nephew and party stalwart Ajit Pawar took a dig at the Prime Minister for calling himself a “fakir”, at a gathering of NCP workers here with his uncle in attendance.

“Currently, a lot of people are opposing the move (demonetisation), however, I was the first person to issue a statement in support of the decision, which was taken against blackmoney.

“People in Delhi ask me my about my opinion on demonetisation. I say the doctor has done the operation nicely, however, the post surgery care was not taken properly and now there is a fear that whether patients will die or survive sans good post surgery care,” Pawar told the gathering without naming Modi.

Hinting that patience of the common people who had hailed the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes earlier, may be on wane he said, “in initial days after the decision, people were lauding the move. However, as people are facing issues in paying their bills, they have started cribbing now”.

Pawar said scrapping of old notes has affected operations of the cooperative banks in rural areas as well as the agriculture sector.

“Government is not accepting money from cooperative banks, because of which these banks in rural areas are suffering a lot. In the last few days, Rs 4,500 crore has been deposited in these banks by their customers, however, no big banks are ready to take these deposits.

“Only 50 per cent agriculture produce is coming to APMCs (Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees). Transport operators are bearing the brunt as these people do not have cash to fill up fuel and even to pay to drivers,” he said.

Pawar said it would take at least take four to six months for the economy to recover.

In the backdrop of Modi’s push for cashless transactions, he said 92 percent transactions in the country are done in cash and that “nobody in rural areas have cards”.

Meanwhile, Ajit launched a veiled attack on Modi over his “fakir” remarks, saying how can someone call himself a hermit if he wears suits worth “lakhs of rupees”.